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Thomas Jefferson was influenced by John Locke, a British writer, who taught extensively that people had an inherent natural right at birth. Locke felt that a government should exist to benefit the common people as well as the privileged. Thomas Paine held similar beliefs and wrote in a book called Common Sense that the people also held the inherent right to operate under its own governance and was not to be bound by that of England.
www.classroom.monticello.org (2007). Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence. (p.1). Retrieved September 23, 2015.
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